Careers Education and Work Related Learning
At Thomas Bewick School, we use the eight Gatsby Benchmarks (in bold and numbered below) to ensure that we provide our pupils with high quality careers education, information and guidance (1. A stable careers programme) and in doing so, raise their aspirations.
Our Careers Leaders in school are Catherine Bhatti (KS3 & KS4) and Sally Davies (Post 16).
Years 7, 8 and 9 (Key Stage 3)
All pupils in Key Stage 3 access ‘work related learning’ lessons where they develop knowledge, skills and understanding linked to the world of work. They learn about different types of job and different working practices through classroom based activities and visits into the local community (2. Learning from career and labour market information / 5. Encounters with employers and employees). We have some very good links with local cultural organisations such as Liberdade Theatre Company, Dance City, Northern Stage and The Laing Art gallery, and many of our pupils work on projects in partnership with these organisations.
From Year 9, we start thinking about ‘preparing for adulthood’ and our school Connexions Adviser becomes involved in supporting our young people and their families to think about future options. The Connexions Adviser will attend annual review meetings and will visit pupils in school and at home to offer support and advice about post-school routes and possible destinations (8. Personal guidance)
Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4)
All pupils continue ‘work related learning’ lessons in Key Stage 4 to build upon their learning in Key Stage 3 but with more focus on the skills required for different types of job. Pupils are supported to recognise their own skills and qualities and consider how these could be transferrable within a work based setting (3. Addressing the needs of each student). Some pupils will have the opportunity to access internal work experience placements, such as helping the school admin teams (5. Encounters with employers and employees) or working in the post 16 café, called Billy Buzz café.
Post 16 (Key Stage 5)
All 6th form pupils are involved in the organisation and running of Billy Buzz café, a school based café accessed by other classes in the school and invited guests from partner schools and the local community (4. Linking curriculum learning to careers). Many pupils in the 6th form also have the opportunity to access work experience placements with local employers in the community (5. Encounters with employers and employees). Supported placements are set up with the pupil’s interests, abilities and needs in mind. Placements have taken place in local shops, hotels, hospitals and garden centres. Some pupils also participate in external work experience placements organised by ‘Project Choice’ and volunteering projects which form part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (6. Experiences of workplaces). We are also very proud that some of our pupils are able to access supported apprenticeships at The Sage Gateshead through the Community Music Spark programme.
Throughout Key Stage 4 and Post 16, pupils are also given the opportunity to attend visits, open days and taster sessions at various post-school providers, such as ESPA College, Westgate College and Hedley’s College (7. Encounters with further and higher education).